TOKYO — A model of an unmanned moon probe has been unveiled in Tokyo, with the actual vehicle scheduled to compete in an international race to explore the lunar surface.

The probe is being designed by the Hakuto team from Japan’s private sector and will likely be finished by the end of January. It is expected to be launched into space from the United States in 2017.

The four-wheel probe is designed to withstand the radiation and heat of the lunar surface. It weighs less than a probe built earlier on an experimental basis.

Starting Sept. 26, the probe will be run in a weeklong test drive on the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori Prefecture.

A prize of $20 million will be awarded to the winner of the international race. The Hakuto team comprises personnel such as engineers and other staff from various corporations.

The lunar surface exploration race is sponsored by Google Inc. of the United States.

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